cover image The Wolves: 4

The Wolves: 4

J. Ed. Bowman, Brian J. Heinz. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1735-0

Paying tribute to nature in all its beauty and brutality, Heinz (Arctic Fox) delivers a spellbinding account of a starving wolf pack's hunt for food. Pahtoo and his pack have been suffering through a harsh winter with little to eat and have finally closed in on a herd of elk. The wolves must now use their cunning, skill and experience to kill their prey. The author's action-filled, present-tense account and expressive language quicken the pulse. Fuchs's (Ragtime Tumpie) wintry oils, awash in pale, creamy pink and purple light, feature hauntingly intense wolves and terrified, desperate elk. The lines of his compositions are softened, drafting readers' imaginations in place of explicit detail. The combination of text and art is formidable competition for any television documentary. Younger children may be upset by the violence of this food chain; older readers and naturalists will appreciate the wild elegance and efficiency captured here. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)